My Husband and I are expecting our second baby boy in 3 months and are having a hard time with a name. He has a son, my stepson, named Zachary Stephen and we have one named Cameron Anthony. Both boys have part of my husbands name as their middle names, Anthony Stephen. The main problem is we both come from large families and avoiding names that our siblings and cousins have used is getting to be hard. Our last name is Tanner and we have been avoiding names that end with an "er" because they usually dont flow well. We finally decided we like the name Greyson, but when I asked my mom about it she doesn't want me to use it because my cousin's 13 year old daughter's name is Gracen. I personally only see this cousin a few times a year and don't see the big deal. She is a obviously a girl and is much older, plus the names aren't exactly the same. We have also said we may call him Grey. ( Zack, Cam and Grey) She says it will be confusing for her and her sisters because they are very close and will always have to clarify who's "Greyson" they are referring to. What do you think, should I not use this name? Middle names are a whole other issue. No family names left that we like that aren't already used by our siblings also as middle names. For instance, we like Thomas. It was my husband's father's name and also has meaning because we were married in St. Thomas, but our nephew's middle name is Thomas. Noone calls him Thomas, does this matter? Please help us with your opinion on these names and maybe any suggestions of similar names.
I think that when it is difficult enough already to find a non-duplicating name that both parents love and agree on, a slight inconvenience to another family member doesn't need to be taken into account. Even picturing my very own dear mother (because it is so easy to imagine making Confident Declarations to other people's imagined mothers, but not so easy when it is a real mother), I can picture saying kindly, "Yes, it might be a little confusing once in awhile, but it'll be okay." Chances are that context alone will clarify things for them: "Gracen is driving me crazy: the door-slamming, the pickiness about clothes, the hours in the bathroom..." is not likely to cause confusion about which child is being described, nor is "Greyson is teething and up all hours of the night." In fact, which sister is talking will go a long way to clarify which child is being referred to. And, you've found an excellent and easy solution for her in any case: she can refer to him as Grey when talking with her siblings. But even if it were a constant confusion (two boys named Greyson born a month apart, for example), or even if she doesn't want to call him Grey, it STILL seems to minor an issue to be a deal-breaker: surely they would quickly develop a habit of clarifying it: "M's Greyson" and "L's Gracen," for example.
The only downside of the name to me is that both the first name and the surname evoke colors. Do you like the name Mason instead? Cason? Dawson? Harrison? Hudson? Jackson? Bryson? Anderson? Carson? Dayton? Lawson? Grady? Logan? Griffin? Gavin? Liam?
If you like the name Thomas for a middle name and you have two good reasons to use it, I don't see a single reason why it matters that your nephew has the same middle name. It won't even cause the minor confusion your mother worries about with the first name. Even if your nephew's FIRST name were Thomas, I'd still say there was no reason not to use it as a middle name. In large families, the occasional duplication is normal and expected, and certainly not worth choosing names you don't even like just to avoid it---particularly in the middle name slot.